How I feel deciding my next move after college

Having recently graduated, Aine talks about how deciding what to do next is daunting, but everyone will find their path.

Written by Aine Ahern


Taking a leap of faith

So it’s been a month now since I graduated from 4th year and I still haven’t a clue what I’m doing tomorrow, not to mind my life. It’s scary to think that our lives have been mapped out for us for the past 20 years and suddenly it all comes to a halt. Like a fuzzy chick happily tucked into its nest waiting for its next feed, we are suddenly catapulted out and expected to learn how to fly on the way down. Don’t get me wrong, for some people, the first flight will be elegant, and graceful, but for others, there just so happens to be turbulence. To the flock who sorted out graduate jobs back in January, or the ones travelling for a year with friends from back home to “find themselves”, or even the ones heading straight into a masters to be deemed more employable – I salute you all. However, for those of you who, like me, are yet to land (their dream job) or are too broke to travel to the next county, not to mind the next country, this one’s for you.

Staying in Neverland

Unlike our parents who knew they were going to be a doctor, a teacher, an accountant or even a farmer, for our generation new jobs are being created every day which has both pros and cons. Now we are faced with endless opportunities which can often be quite daunting. It makes us question our every path and decision more than before. I remember thinking when I was younger that if people went travelling for a year or decided to take up TEFL, they were simply running away from being an adult or simply put – the Peter Pans of this world. However, now that I see some of my TEFL loving friends making a (happy) living I’m starting to think there’s more to life after college than just 9-5 office jobs. Not only are they choosing a different route to their parents, but they’re also stumbling upon some magic along the way. Note to self: Never say never to Neverland.

Social media or social greed-ia?

Personally, I hate social media and yet since finishing college I have found myself scrolling mindlessly for hours. I come off Instagram, and Facebook feeling more distressed, crap, and hopeless than I ever did. Why? Because the likes of LinkedIn are actually telling me to “Congratulate Brian on his new job at PWC”. Firstly, it’s a reminder that once again, you don’t have a job as good as Brian and secondly, screw you Brian! People become greedy on social media, only posting what they want you to see. Did LinkedIn send a “Congratulate Brian on failing his second-year accountancy exams”? No. You see, it’s easy to feel envious of friends getting jobs but just think, maybe their path wasn’t as easy as you think. When the times right, LinkedIn will replace Brian’s name with yours, so until then, congratulate the poor lad, and why not use this opportunity to get some tips on how he landed the job in the first place. After all, you did sit beside him for four  years.

Finding your herd

You’re now starting to realise you don’t have as many friends as you thought you once had. In college you were surrounded by housemates or friendly acquaintances that would give you the same “we are so screwed for this exam” look that you appreciated oh too well. You had loads of friends in college, so why do you suddenly feel so alone? The answer is simple, some of these friends were situational. But don’t just sit around the house, wrapped in a blanket, drinking copious amounts of tea while belting out a rendition of Les Miserables “On My Own”, get out there and make new friends. Join tag rugby, say yes to drinks with new workmates, find another singer and replace “On My Own” with “Together” from High School Musical. You just need to believe in yourself, just this once. Your new herd is out there, and you might just find them in the most unexpected of places. Time to moo-ve on.

It takes time

Judi Dench, J.K Rowling, Steve Jobs, Sylvester Stallone, and Tom Brady have one thing in common, they were all late bloomers. So, when you’re frantically flicking through “” or about to pay for a flight you simply can’t afford, take a deep breath, x out of those tabs, and remember that success has no time limit. What’s for you won’t pass you, and when the time is right, you won’t just fly, you’ll f***ing soar. Whether you’re 22 years old or 42 years old – It. Will. Happen.

But until that time comes, rustle those feathers of yours, flee the nest, and enjoy the journey.

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